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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meth Mouth Video - The Effects of Methamphetamines on Teeth

The Effects of Methamphetamines on Dental Hygiene. Public domain video and Public Service Announcement (PSA) by the American Dental Association. Meth Mouth Video. December 7, 2006. Methamphetamine use affects many parts of the body and the mouth is no exception. In fact, most dental professionals are using the term meth mouth to describe the devastating effects of methamphetamine use on the mouth and teeth. Many dentists contribute the rapid deterioration of a meth user's teeth to these factors: Meth use causes dry mouth, which leads to rapid decay. Meth users tend to grind and / or clench their teeth. Meth users tend to experience cravings for sugary carbonated beverages. The acidic makeup of the drug, which can include battery acid, lantern fuel, antifreeze and other toxic substances. Poor oral hygiene habits of a meth user. This two minute video about meth mouth, provided by the American Dental Association, includes dental professionals as well as current and former meth users discussing the effects of this this dangerous and highly addictive drug on the mouth and teeth. The Effects of Methamphetamines on Teeth. Meth mouth is an informal name for advanced tooth decay attributed to heavy methamphetamine use. According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth "is probably caused by a combination of drug-induced psychological and physiological changes resulting in xerostomia (dry mouth), extended periods of poor oral hygiene, frequent consumption of high calorie, carbonated beverages and tooth grinding and clenching." Characteristics include: xerostomia (dry mouth): Methamphetamine use may decrease the production of saliva. A lack of saliva's natural protective effects directly leads to increased tooth decay, particularly at the gumline. Many users also smoke tobacco or consume highly sugared soft drinks, worsening the problem. Cracked teeth: Methamphetamine induces clenching and grinding of the teeth, leading to wear or cracks. Neglect of oral hygiene: This is likely among the most important causes of poor oral health among methamphetamine users. After a prolonged binge, users may sleep for a day or more with their mouths open, exacerbating the problems of poor saliva supply. Meth mouth is "difficult to distinguish" from a simple case of poor oral hygiene. Dentists are advised to look for "unaccounted for and accelerated decay in teenagers and young adults" and "malnourished appearance in heavy users, because methamphetamine acts as an appetite suppressant." Contrary to a number of media reports, meth mouth's contributing causes do not include a "corrosive", "acidic", or "caustic" effect of the drug itself on tooth enamel or gum tissue. Jack Shafer of Slate magazine has written a series of articles disputing the role of "chemical" or "contaminant" factors in causing meth mouth. Despite the name "Meth" mouth, accelerated tooth decay can be caused by many other similar stimulants with similar actions like methamphetamine's related compounds amphetamine or dextroamphetamin

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